Palestinians riot in West Bank ahead of Abbas speech
IDF responds by using tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Kalandiya; Ahronovitch holds security evaluation meeting in J'lem with Danino.
By JPOST.COM STAFF, MELANIE LIDMAN
September 23, 2011 15:55
2 minute read.
Palestinian youth throws stones at Kalandia checkpoint 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)
Dozens of Palestinians gathered near the Kalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah and threw stones at IDF soldiers on what police believed would be a tense Friday ahead of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the UN later in the day.
The IDF responded by using tear gas to disperse the crowds.A similar incident also took place in Bil'in.
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Despite the incidents, east Jerusalem and the West Bank were mostly quiet on Friday afternoon.
Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz arrived at Kalandia during the violent clashes along with division commander Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon.
The two arrived in order to assess IDF operations at the site of the violent protests.
a strategy meeting with police officers on Friday afternoon next to the
Al Aqsa Mosque plaza, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Ahronovitch said "the period from the end of prayers until the
Abbas speech are very sensitive hours," he said.
worshippers attended prayers at Al Aqsa and left the plaza without
incident, though a young woman in religious dress was seen being led to a
waiting police car in handcuffs.
Police arrested two youths at
the Majalas Gate, one of the entrances to the Temple Mount, after the
two tried to force their way into the plaza.
As is typical
during politically sensitive times when police fear the possibility of
violence, Friday prayers were limited to men over age 50 with blue
Israeli ID cards and women of any age.
Three youths were also
arrested in Beit Hanina after they burned tires and threw rock at a
patrol of border police. Another youth was also arrested for throwing
rocks in Ras al Amud.
Yochanan Danino said security forces were deployed across the
country with a special emphasis on Jerusalem and the border around
Jerusalem. Danino and Ahronovitch planned to tour the Jerusalem-West
Bank border and the Kalandia checkpoint later this afternoon.
goal is awareness, trying to be aware of situations before we need to
use force," he said after the meeting. "The quiet is continuing and we
haven't seen any evidence that people are preparing to disturb the
peace," he said.
Ahronovitch also stressed that the car accident
this morning in Kiryat Arba, in which a 5-year-old Palestinian boy was
in critical condition after being hit by a car driven by Jews, was an
accident. "We know this was not premeditated and it doesn't seem that
there is a connection to the events and we will continue to enforce the
quiet," said Ahronovitch.
Hundreds of east Jerusalem residents
are expected to gather at Damascus Gate this evening for a showing of
Abbas' speech on a giant screen.